Entry 20

     “What are you thinking about?”
     I felt like I had been awoken from a daze. Christine sat before me in her usual spot, gazing at me with her beautiful eyes. I wondered how long I had been staring off ignoring her, lost in my own thoughts.
     “How long have we been here?”
     “What do you mean?”
     “I just feel like I've lost track of time...”
     “It's four thirty. We've been here since four.”
     “I guess I'm just preoccupied...”
     “With your story?”
     “Yeah, I just can't seem to let go and start afresh.”
     She looked at me for a few moments, gathering her thoughts together. Finally, she said, “Sometimes we need to let go of the past in order to move on with our lives. You need to let this go and move on to something that we can only hope will be bigger and better. You might fail, but that's the point of life: to have success and failures. And, in the end, maybe we'll learn something along the way – maybe you'll learn something by moving on.”
     Her words resonated with me as I thought long and hard about them. I needed to let this story about Dillion Green go in order to progress. I needed to stop trying to turn a story I had lost interest in, into something great that I could be proud of.
     “Is this the part in the story where I'm supposed to have some sort of realization? Where I'm supposed to discover something about myself that I had long forgotten that caused me to obsess about this story?”
     “I don't know, I'm not a writer. You are. You tell me.”
     “But what am I supposed to realize? I know I need to let go of this story... but I can't.”
     “And why not?”
     “I'm not sure...”
     “Then you need to look deeper. You need to get this over with so you can move on with your life and write something you'll truly be proud of.”
     “But how do you know what this story won't be something I can be proud of?”
     “Because you're looking for a happy ending to the story; but, not every story has a happy ending... not every story can resolve itself so that the hero comes out on top. From what you've told me, I know where the story will end, and I know it's not what you want. So you'll twist it, distort it, ruin it to fit your needs. It'll no longer feel real, it will no longer be true to life. And that's why it will never be a story you can be proud of.”
     She knew how to cut right to the heart of the problem. She knew me better than I knew myself and we both knew it.
     “So where do I go from here?” I asked.
     “You need to stop attempting to make Dillion Green resolve this conflict that you are attempting to resolve through him.”

Entry 19

     His name was Dillion Green, and he was a painter. His life had been typical and boring. He had taken for granted the everyday routine he once had. He now found himself an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone.
     His wife was long gone. The house had started to deteriorate as it went unattended by Dillion. A thin coat of dust could be visible around the house. The paint upon the walls has began to peel.
     This was not where he imagined he'd be when he was younger. He never imagined himself to be a painter or an artist or a creator. There was a time when he was an ambitious business man who wanted everything, but felt empty inside.
     That's when he had met his beautiful soon-to-be wife who had graced him with the will to create. She had been his muse, and now with her gone, he felt that same emptiness that he once knew.
     Thus was the life of Dillion Green.

Entry 18

      I was at the awful cafe again. I started hating the site and smell of this place. It always seemed to have the same set of people in it – including Christine. She looked at me with her gray eyes, waiting for me to say something.
      Eventually, she simply asked: “What's wrong?”
      I looked at her. I must have been an awful site – I hadn't shaved or brushed my hair since my story disappeared.
      “It's gone,” I managed to muster. “The whole story is gone.”
      She looked at her coffee as she contemplated what to say comfort me; but, I knew there was nothing she could do, nothing she could say, that would make me feel better.
      “Perhaps... perhaps you just need to let go.”
      “Just let go? After the work I've put into it? I need to finish it, Christine. You of all people should know that.”
      “I know, but I think you should just move on from this story.”
      “Because you think it was an awful story?”
      “No, because at some point, you need to realize that you can't finish every project you start.”
      “I don't want to let this story go.”
      “I don't think you have a choice.”

Entry 17

     My headache came back, stronger than ever. I needed to get out of my house and forget about my missing work before I killed myself. Perhaps that's why some writers still use old fashioned typewriters; that way, there's no chance of losing your data, you always have a hard copy.
     “Perhaps,” I thought to myself, “I'd buy one...”
     It would give me something to do – an excuse to get out of the house.
     I instantly changed my mind. I became angry with myself – filled with hate. I grabbed my computer monitor and thrust it towards the ground. A smile came across my face as it shattered. I threw my chair at the wall, jamming one of the legs through the thin sheet of dry wall.
     I suddenly hated everyone and everything – including myself. I looked around and noticed how awful the room looked, even though I had only thrown two things. My anger subsided into depression and I fell to the floor.
     My head hung low as I sat there.

Entry 16

     I awoke to find myself sitting in my chair. My computer was on and the monitor showed a screen saver. I checked my watch – it was five something. Even though I just woke up, I felt tired and groggy. My mind felt in a haze.
     How long had I been sleeping? I couldn't remember ever drifting to sleep. I managed to recollect my inner eye hallucinations, but nothing more than that. I checked to see if I had written any more to my story.
     To my shock and dismay, there was nothing written. The complete document was blank. I attempted to undo, but nothing happened. I checked if there were back-ups of the file... but I couldn't find any.
     My heart sank, and I felt like screaming.
     I kept attempting to undo or to find some older version of my writing, but to no avail.
     Dillion Green was gone.

Entry 15

     I sat there in my chair staring at my computer monitor. About a page of material had been written and my eyes were starting to hurt. The beginnings of a headache began to manifest itself in my head. The light from the monitor didn't help the situation.
     After turning off the computer, I leaned back and stared at the ceiling. I quickly began to see patterns form on the textured surface. My mind subconsciously played connect-the-dots: letters appeared, flashing in and out of existence.
     I closed my eyes.
     “Clear my mind,” I thought as I remembered what Christine had said.
     I tried to clear my mind of all thoughts, but it was no use. Even with my eyes closed, I saw flashes of letters appear and disappear quickly, and I couldn't help but try to keep them visible for as long as possible.
Eventually, after focusing for a long time, the letters became more stable. The noise behind the letters disappeared. I could start making out sets of letters and eventually complete words. However, I couldn't make out any clear connection between the words – the, this, her, paint, green, world, flash.
     I felt like opening my eyes, but I willed myself to keep them closed to continue. The words began appearing together. This world. No more. The end. I continued concentrating on forcing the words to stay as long as possible. I no longer noticed my headache, or that my eyes hurt: my whole being was focused on these closed eye hallucinations. I wanted to see a sentence. I wanted to know why I was seeing these words. What connection did these words have.
     I sat for what seemed like an eternity; the words making longer impressions. Finally, I saw a sentence form, a small message from my subconscious self.
     This world was not meant for you.

Entry 14

     Dillion had trouble sleeping that night. The dark walls felt as though they were closing on him – he felt suffocated by his room. He was laying on his back, with his eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. He had only one thought on his mind: that this world was not real. All these crazy hallucinations and occurrences could not possibly be happening, he thought to himself. Either he was crazy, or he was in some sort of nightmare.
     He tried to determine whether he was crazy or not. He needed some sort of test, but how could he test himself? How could his mind determine whether he was insane if that was where this disease resided?
     How could he determine whether this was a nightmare?
     He stopped thinking about it, and attempted to go back to sleep. His eyes had already become accustomed to the darkness, thus making it difficult to keep them shut. He looked around his room: bookshelves filled with books his wife had once read, an antique lamp his wife had once owned, jewelry she had once worn.
     He couldn't take it any more. Grabbing his pillow and a sheet, he went to the living room and attempted to sleep on the couch.   

Entry 13

     “Why are we still at this cafe?!”
     “I asked you: want to go someplace else? And you said: no, the cafe is walking distance to my house, I don't want to drive. So here we are.”
     “But this place is terrible.”
     “Then stop picking it.”
     Why did I pick it again, I thought. I had explicitly stated last time that I would find a new meeting spot. I looked around. A man sat alone at one table reading the newspaper, his coffee sat in front of him with steam rising up. How did he get hot coffee, I wondered. Bastard must have gotten some from a fresh brew. I began to think of ways to injure this man for having fresh coffe when Christine interrupted me.
     “So, why did you call me here?”
     “I've been having trouble sleeping.”
     “So, I can't focus anymore. I constantly have an irritating headache. I think I'm losing my grip on reality.”
     I stared into her beautiful gray eyes and wondered what she was going to say next. She sat there for what seemed like an eternity as she pondered what to say. Finally, after sipping some of her drink, she said, “You just need a good night's sleep. Maybe you should start by not drinking so much coffee.”
     I looked at my coffee which was lukewarm now. Perhaps she was right. I pushed it away.
     “You should also try clearing your mind each night.”
     “You mean like, meditating?”
     “You can call it what ever you want, just try not to think about your story, or about anything really.”
     “I'll try.”

Entry 12

     The world turned into a dull grayscaled version of what it used to look like, as though someone with Photoshop opened it for the first time and noticed that they could become and instant artist by grayscaling their pictures. Dillion was not one to really care about sudden color changes that occurred to the world around him, but then again, after his wife died, he was not one to care about anything.
     The sun set without its brilliant sunset. Clouds lay low and the street lights flickered as the turned on to illuminate the streets. Stars were veiled by the yellow light produced by the city. The moon's white light barely protruded through the thicket of clouds. Dillion was alone.
     So alone.
     The edge of reality flickered in front of him. He saw the darkness begin to enclose as he heard in the faint distance the sound of his wife's voice say to him: “I love you.” He was haunted by these images and sounds of his wife ever since she died; but he had gotten used to it. The manifestations of his mind had progressively grown worse, but – truth be told – he somewhat enjoyed hearing and seeing his wife from time to time, even if she manifested herself as dark figures that tormented him.
     It was a strange feeling: to long for, yet resent these manifestations.

Entry 11

     This world started feeling less and less real to me as my sleep cycle deteriorated. Every day I would wonder whether I was dreaming, or if I was really here. The more I thought about it, the more I reinforced my conclusion that it didn't matter.
     What was the difference between reality and illusion? I guess for me there is no defining line between the two. There is no black and white, only gray.

Entry 10

     I began to feel a lot like my creation – lonely and without inspiration. I knew it was because he was me. Dillion Green would always in some sense be a projection of myself.
     That was an odd thing about being a writer. You could find out more about yourself from your writing than you wanted to know. That's why I was hesitant whether to keep my character as I had first created him: he would reveal my subconscious. My inner thoughts would turn him into an outlet.
     I considered this to be therapy – to help break my writer's block. If Dillion Green could find some muse, some sort of inspiration, I knew I could as well.

Entry 9

      After attempting to clean himself up, Green walked through the hallway of his house looking at his once prized artwork. He walked into his work room where a blank canvas had been sitting for weeks now.
      He decided that it would be best to get out of the house and attempt to find inspiration else where. He dawned his coat and shoes and stepped outside. The sun was a lot brighter than he remembered.
      He took a short walk to the nearby park and sat on the cleanest bench he could find.
      He sat and he watched the scenery.
      He tried to find inspiration.
      But could not find any.

Entry 8

     Night time. The walls dissolved into a black shade that surrounded me. I could hear every little noise inside and outside of my house. I heard the faint rustle of leaves from the gentle night breeze. I heard the sound of traffic from the main avenue in the distance. I heard the house groan as it shifted on its foundation.
     Why couldn't I sleep?
     I sat up and began wondering if maybe I was sleeping. What if all this was a dream? I had heard of a few reality checks you could preform to check, so I started trying to remember all of them.
     Hands. I looked at my hands, front and back. Nothing unusual.
     Breathing. I attempted to hold my breath as long as possible, but all that accomplished was making my headache even more prevalent.
     Lights. I stood up and flicked the light switch on and off. The light turned on and off accordingly.
     Text. I picked up a book and read the first sentence, looked away and then looked back. It was the same sentence.
     Death. I looked at the gun I kept in my bedside drawer. I decided not to risk it.

Entry 7

      “How's the story going?” she asked as she stirred her coffee.
     “Why do we always meet here?” I answered her question with a question.
     “Because you never suggest any other place.”
     I looked around. Any place would be better than this coffee place. At least another cafe that served decent coffee. Perhaps a bookstore. As I started listing off all the possible places that we could sit down and chat, Christine looked at me and said, “You never answered my question.”
     “I started writing if that's what you're asking.”
     “What's it about?”
     “It's going to be a mystery novel about a man named Dillion Green.”
     “Why Dillion Green?”
     “It was the first name that came into my head – that and he paints. Green. Paints. Get it?”
     “I got it, it wasn't clever, but I got it.”

Entry 6

     His name was Dillion Green and he was a painter.
     He awoke one night to find himself terribly alone – no children, no wife, no relatives. All he had left were his paintings that no one wanted. Before, he had loved painting – the spark of creation once inhabited his soul, but now was lost. Where had all his passion gone? Once a young man filled with ambition, he was now a shell of his former self lacking the creativity of his youth.
     Here was a man without direction, going with the tide to where ever it decided to take him. A river stone tumbling with the current, not knowing its destination.
     After a few moments of debating whether to get up or not, Green stood up and walked over to his bathroom. The halls were filled with the light of the morning sun as it poured in through the open curtains.
     He hated the sun.
     He stared at himself in the mirror. Disheveled, unshaven – he looked like a mess.
     I realized that this was exactly what happened to me just a day ago. I pondered to myself whether I should continue...
     On one hand, this could be just what I needed – therapy for my lack of ambition and my unhealthy sleeping patterns. This would be good for me I thought and I continued writing.

Entry 5

     I took what Christine said to heart. I would write a mystery. It's what I was good at. It was my niche.
     Dillion Green. That's what I'd name the main character. He'll be an ambitious man, lots of talent. With brown hair sporting aged grays, he'd be an older man who never quite made enough money to live comfortably. His brilliant ideas consistently went to waste. After his wife died, he moved into a smaller house outside of the city – he'd try to live a secluded life.
     I sat there at my computer, typing all this down. It felt good to write again, to finally be creative once more.
     I'd give life to a new character. Where ever he went, I went. What ever emotion he felt, I felt. It's hard to part with a character at the end of the novel, after all that time and effort... constructing his appearance, his emotion, his characteristics, his speech, everything...

Entry 4

     I looked at her. We were at the same coffee shop as before. The coffee tasted just as bad. It didn't sit well in my stomach.
     “How are you?”
     I was feeling awful, sick, depressed. I hadn't had a good night sleep in weeks. My mind was disoriented and my eyes hurt.
     “I'm good. What about you?”
     “You really shouldn't lie to me.”
     She knew me well. A bit too well. She knew me better than I knew myself.
     I looked at her again. She seemed different, but I just couldn't place my finger on it. Her eyes were still that beautiful gray though.

Entry 3

     I called her. I asked when she would have time to meet. She said after work she was free. I asked when she got off work. After a short rant about how I always ask, and the answer is always the same, she said, “Five.”
     I shaved, bathed, combed, and dressed. I thought that would take up most of my time, but it was only two o' clock.
     The monitor sat on my desk, almost laughing at me. Possibly discussing with the printer about how I couldn't write anymore, about how they were going to waste, about how I was going to waste.

Entry 2

      About a week ago, I had met with a good friend of mine: Christine. It was a short meeting at a coffee shop, but I remember what she said: “You need to stop overthinking your story. You just need to write.”
      The sky was a beautiful gray, matching her eyes exactly. She looked at me while she drank her coffee or latte or what ever the hell the serve at a coffee shop. I drank some coffee which tasted a week old and stale. It wasn't even hot.
      “I heard about your last book.”
      “I heard it was awful.”
      “Did you read it?”
      “I didn't want to waste my time.”
      The book was crap. I knew it, she knew it, my publisher knew it. Why had I even written that book? It was about corruption in capitalism or some sort of political or economic satire. I had lost focus about a page into writing it, but I finished it anyway.
      “You know, I liked what you used to write about. Horrors, mysteries. I liked those things.”
      “Thanks Christine.”
      But the truth was, I didn't want to write about those things anymore. The mystery was always predictable and it was frustrating trying to always come up with different plot twists.
      “You need to wake up.”
      "You need to face reality. People don't want political satire. They don't want hard to follow plots.”
      “Then what do they want?”
      “That's what you need to figure out.”
      I woke up. It was ten in the morning and the sun shone bright in my face. I rolled over and tried to go to bed again.

Entry 1

     I woke up tired with sweat on my face. The room was still dark and in the distance I was able to read my alarm clock: 3:00 AM. I tried to go back to bed, but I was restless. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't breathe.
     I got up and stumbled over to the bathroom. Washing my face, I was fully awake.
     I looked at myself in the mirror and could hardly recognize myself. My hair was long and disheveled. My face looked as though I hadn't shaved in weeks. And when I think back on it, I couldn't remember the last time I had shaved.
     After grabbing a cup and drinking a sip of water to soothe my dry throat, I sat at my computer. I needed to start typing – something, anything.
     I'm a writer who can't figure out what to write about.
     The screen was bright in the dark room and my eyes began to hurt after staring at the screen without a word being written.
     My last book didn't sell very well. Riddled with cryptic messages, two interweaving plots, and an unsatisfying conclusion, reviews came out that it was simply not worth the time to read. I'd need to make this next novel simple – an easy read so that I could make money.
     Frustrated, I turned off the monitor and crawled back into bed.
     “I need to write something,” I thought as I tried to sleep.
     But I couldn't.